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Merry Christmas from the President and First Lady of the United States

Grace, humor, dignity, love, and a call to service: our President and our First Lady wish us all a Merry Christmas:

President Barack Obama: As we retell His story from that holy night, we’ll also remember his eternal message, one of boundless love, compassion, and hope—

First Lady Michelle Obama: —the idea that we are our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper, that we should treat others as we would want to be treated, that we care for the scik, feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, no matter where they come from or how the practice their faith [White House Christmas Address, 2016.12.24].



  1. Eve Fisher 2016-12-24 15:02

    Love it, love them, going to miss them… Really going to miss them…

  2. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2016-12-24 15:55

    Totally Agree!

  3. owen reitzel 2016-12-24 18:12

    This is what you call class. Trump is the opposite of class.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2016-12-24 20:21

    We are going from POTUS to POS

  5. John 2016-12-24 20:34

    Christmas is built upon a beautiful & intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home. ―GK Chesterton

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-25 07:39

    Good quote, John, and one I suspect the Obamas appreciate.

    Owen, you’re absolutely right: the Obamas have carried out the difficult duties of the First Family with ceaseless class and dignity and an evident and unfailing love for their country and for each other. They are role models for us all.

  7. Dana P 2016-12-25 09:12

    Class, class, class. My Christmas wish would be another eight years of the Obama’s in the White House. Alas, reality sets in and I know that isn’t possible.

    Their message isn’t self-serving. It is about serving their country and their best wishes for everyone. This is who they are. This is what they do. Their successor? Not even close.

    Gut wrenching. I am really going to miss them. In so many ways.

  8. Porter Lansing 2016-12-25 14:50

    CAROLINE KENNEDY FOR PRESIDENT … Her political views include that she supported legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, is pro-choice, against the death penalty, for restoring the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, and believes the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) should be re-examined. On foreign policy, her spokeswoman reiterated that Kennedy opposed the Iraq War from the beginning as well as that she believes that Jerusalem should be the undivided capital city of Israel. Her personal wealth is around $100 million.

  9. mike from iowa 2016-12-25 15:53

    My holiday wish is for smarter voters who stop voting against their best interests to stick it to the Black guy in the WH.

    I am going to miss Obamas and most decent Americans prolly will too, the time Drumpf steals them blind. Imagine an elected Potus siding with our enemy Russia against the man he is to replace. Stinks like treason to me.

  10. grudznick 2016-12-25 16:30

    It’s like Mr. E said, Mike, not to your voters there in Iowa from where you reside, but here in South Dakota where we all live: Thanks for nothing, voters! Read the &*^)@ measure better next time.​

  11. mike from iowa 2016-12-25 16:41

    Its like I said, Drumpfnick, to voters all over, not just flyover Prairie Dog country. America needs smarter voters and you don’t get smarter voting for wingnuts.

  12. grudznick 2016-12-25 16:51

    Today we eat turkey pot pies in South Dakota, and we can be grateful we don’t have the smells that Iowa does but we also do not get bacon every day like you do. Oh, golly, it’s been days since I’ve had a good slab of bacon.

  13. Paladn 2016-12-25 20:13

    Merry Christmas to Mr. President, the First Lady and to all of the readers of this column. I sincerely hope 2017 will continue to make America a better place for citizens and our place in the world.

    Best to you all.

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-26 08:09

    Porter, the last time we Democrats ran a candidate with the name of a former President, it didn’t go well for us. Amidst an electorate in key electoral states willing to elect an unstable tyrant on the pretense of favoring an outsider, I recommend against any dynasty nominee—not a Kennedy, not an Obama, not in 2020.

  15. Rorschach 2016-12-26 09:07

    It’s a strange affliction we suffer from, the thought that someone should be pushed to the forefront based upon their family name. It’s anti-democratic. It’s royalist. What has it gotten us … George W. Bush. Hillary (unlikeable) Clinton – who opened the door for Donald Trump. Keep *###in’ that chicken, Porter.

  16. jerry 2016-12-26 09:27

    Going to miss this president for sure. Now we have this guy. Oh well, as long as sons Uday and Qusay will not be considered the dynasty for Trump, we will have that going for us. Kennedy, any Kennedy, nope. Clinton, any Clinton, double nope.

    Without the 50 state, 3007 county approach, we might as well buy mirrors so we can look at our bellybuttons right now. By the time 4 years rolls around, our bellybuttons will be looking at us, so we better get this right.

  17. Porter Lansing 2016-12-26 10:14

    Two negative responses from people I respect and one from Ms. Rorschach. I think it’s sad that our esteemed Ambassador to Japan is rejected because of her family heritage. Not that likeable Democrats can’t win without South Dakota but the tenure of the suggestion has been noted. Thank you, both.

  18. jerry 2016-12-26 10:35

    Porter, it is not a rejection for her positions taken, it is in particular her name. The Kennedy name has much tragedy to it and for that reason alone. My concern would be for any of their well being and in particular, the daughter of Camelot.

  19. Rorschach 2016-12-26 10:38

    Caroline Kennedy has never spent a day as an elected official, and some dufus thinks she should be President – just because of her last name?

    Besides being a dufus you’re the biggest bigot on this blog now that Kurtz is gone, porter. I don’t seek your respect.

  20. Porter Lansing 2016-12-26 10:47

    He He Porter got your goat, sweetie.

  21. Rorschach 2016-12-26 11:15

    Seems I got your goat, porter/dufusbigot.

    You must have over imbibed as evidenced by the “tenure [sic]” of your suggestions today. Go sleep it off. There’s still hope for change tomorrow. Yeah, right

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-26 11:22

    Like Jerry, I’m not denying her achievements, Porter, any more than I denied HRC’s even more substantial achievements. I’m just saying that Kennedy brings a familiar dynasty (translate: same old same old?) negative that many in a wide field of equally or more experienced candidates (Sanders, Warren, Ellison, O’Malley, Booker,… Biden?) do not. I don’t think Kennedy would withstand a primary against any of those I just mentioned, not to mention my own pre-election quest for an ideal candidate.

    Now get off each others’ cases and take the name calling to the bar.

  23. Porter Lansing 2016-12-26 11:49

    She called me a dufus bigot. What did I call her? Sweetie? I’m being unfairly associated with name calling. PS … I don’t go to bars.

  24. Roger Cornelius 2016-12-26 11:53

    Before we even consider a candidate, actually they decide for themselves, jerry’s comment about 50 state – 3007 county needs to be discussed.
    While President Obama had many positive numbers in rebuilding the economy after the Bush nuclear attack on it, the one number Democrats aren’t talking about is 1030.

    1030 is the number of state legislative seats, governorships, congressional and senate seats lost during the Obama years.

    Following the old adage that all politics is local, the republicans beat the hell out of us in organizing and firing up their base at local levels.

    Now, we can piss on each others comments and character or we can get busy at the local level organizing our counties and states to produce candidates that best fit our interest.

    The choice is yours.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-26 12:07

    Roger gets me thinking that our Presidential choice in 2020 should be placed on the back burner. The Democrats who want to run will figure it out, and we Dems, as usual, will field a much more qualified team than the GOP did this year. If Dems focus on local organizing, taking back Legislative seats and building the brand locally, we will substantially increase the victory margin of whomever we nominate for the top job in 2020.

    None of us local activists will play a major role in populating the nominee field in the 2020 primary. We will play a far greater role in winning the local battles that are pre-requisites for winning the big national battle in 2020.

  26. Rorschach 2016-12-26 13:41

    I called you a dufus. And a bigot. And a dufusbigot. Get it right slowtrain.

  27. Rorschach 2016-12-26 14:44

    President Obama believes he would have won if he could have and would have run again. Although he’s been an above-average President and far better than his predecessor, I don’t think he could win again. The erosion in support from 2008 to 2012 is tangible. The 2016 campaign would have looked different with him as the nominee. It’s tempting to think he would have done better than Hillary Clinton with his superior personality and without the Clinton e-mails and other baggage. But he would have been up against the public’s desire for someone new.

    I’m thankful that we have had 8 years of President Obama and his solid performance as President. My expectations for his successor include war, corruption far beyond Nixon and Iran/Contra combined, and economic ruin for the country – except the 1%. The public (except the racists) will look back with increasing approval of President Obama’s successful Presidency. I wish him and his family the best for 2017 and beyond. I still need to get my 2008 volunteers-only poster signed. We’ll see about that some time.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-26 15:18

    Ror, to what extent will that increasing approval rating for Obama help Democrats win elections in the coming years? Will 2018 and 2020 be too soon to say to voters, “Remember how great America was under Obama? Wouldn’t you like to get back on that path?” What Democratic candidates could best play that line?

  29. Rorschach 2016-12-26 15:39

    The Democrats will want President Obama on the campaign trail in 2018 talking about the good old days with him in charge. Things in the US of A will be a yuuuge mess by then. In fact, Democrats need him to remain engaged in policy and in party building right after his well-deserved post-Presidency vacation ends. He needs to defend his legacy, and the Democratic Party needs constant and vocal pushback to Trump’s nefarious plans.

    What Democratic candidates could best play the line, “Wouldn’t you like to get back on that path?” Most of them – selectively for one issue or another. Joe Manchin probably shouldn’t be caught using that line though. (Not that there’s any danger of him using that line).

    It’s going to get ugly for the GOP Party. Just as ugly as it was when Bush Jr. left office. Won’t take as long for the bottom to fall out though. Will Trump get us into a war with China just to bolster his approval ratings for 2018? I wouldn’t bet against it. Will it work? Not unless good people remain silent.

  30. Porter Lansing 2016-12-26 20:06

    In conclusion … Trump’s a good bet to win reelection and Caroline will be ready in ’24.

  31. Porter Lansing 2016-12-26 21:32

    Prediction… In ’24 it’ll be Caroline vs Ted Cruz.(He’s really the smartest they have. Not real likeable, though.)

  32. jerry 2016-12-26 21:49

    Ted Cruz won’t even be a thang then. Trump beat up his dad, kicked sand in the face of his wife and the groveler just came back for a call center. Trump told him he might consider him for a cabinet post, then picked the football up and squinty Ted fell on his arse. Nope, Teddy is gonna be taken care of his daughters who are gonna be trouble for the dude. They have seen the way he mistreats their mom. That born again nonsense is gonna catch the fraud that he is.

    I just don’t see Caroline Kennedy going for it Porter, I see maybe Harris out of California though. She is a pretty savvy politico that can get stuff done. On the Republican side, if Putin is still around, I think they may run him, seriously. Putin has higher approval ratings than any other Republican in their top tier of candidates.

  33. Roger Cornelius 2016-12-26 22:23

    If you recall when Hillary left her senate seat to become Secretary of State, Caroline Kennedy was at one point a strong consideration, it seems that if she wanted to start the process toward a future in national politics she would have started then.
    As it turned out, she had some tax problems that were going to be made public.
    It is way too early to name names for 2020 without anyone stepping forward at this time. No predictions from me.
    Whoever emerges as our party’s candidate will have to have a successful record of attacking everything Trump does in the next two to four years.
    One thing to consider is if Democrats in congress and the senate will start the process of investigating Trump’s financial dealing around the world.
    They may even get the support of some republicans in both houses.
    Remember, the republicans are far from united and in fact John McCain and Lindsey Graham are preppying to go to war against Trump.

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-27 07:56

    Roger, good reminder that much depends on how well the Republicans play with their new leader. Ladbrokes gives 6/4 odds that we Dems will be campaigning against Pence, not Trump.

    Obama as leader of the Shadow Cabinet/Resistance—absolutely. He and Michelle can show as much class leading the opposition as they have leading the nation. We need their reminder of dignity and service. Sprinkle in a few joint appearances with Jimmy Carter.

  35. Porter Lansing 2016-12-27 08:53

    Predicting is always hard. Especially when it involves the future. As the wise man says, it’s time to focus on local. Which means it’s time to focus on the Pierre cycle. Hope they do right by all you good people. Everyone’s watching and Grudz will be commenting. hehe

  36. Roger Cornelius 2016-12-27 12:07

    The Mike Pence protest started when he moved into his temporary home in Chevy Chase, Md. one of the most liberal areas of D.C.
    He wasn’t greeted by the Welcome Wagon, he was greeted by Rainbow banners decorating the homes of those protesting his absence of support for LGBT people.

    In a CNN interview yesterday President Obama said he could have beaten Trump if he was able to run for a third term. If anyone was able to go head to head with Trump and show what an idiot he is, it would have been President Obama.

    President Obama doesn’t plan to retire into irrelevancy, from his comments about retirement he plans to be very active and perhaps lead the shadow cabinet along with Bernie Sanders. Who could possibly be better?

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-28 09:54

    Roger, I’ll state for the record again that I think term limits written into law or the Constitution are a bad idea.

  38. Roger Cornelius 2016-12-28 11:43

    Agreed Cory, the congress and senate don’t have term limits, the Supreme Court appointments are lifetime appoints, so why should the presidency be term limited?

  39. Darin Larson 2016-12-28 14:07

    I think term limits for the presidency are necessary as a safeguard against tyranny. Can you imagine where we would be if a person like Trump was bent on keeping power? We just elected an egomaniac to the most powerful position on earth. The last thing we need is to give such a person an unlimited horizon for maintaining power.

  40. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-28 18:27

    Darin, I’d like to keep rolling with Roger and believe that elections are all the term limits we need. Of course, if the electorate can go haywire and let Trump sneak in with one of the lowest Electoral-cheat margins in history, I suppose that may reinforce the case for term limits. But that case violates my basic axiom of trusting the voters.

  41. Darin Larson 2016-12-28 18:41

    Cory, what it comes down to for me is that the benefit of being able to keep a great president in office for a third or fourth term is outweighed by even the small danger of a tyrant being able to manipulate his way into furthering his tenure beyond 8 years. As the country has become hyper-partisan and the Supreme Court has shown that it is not above the fray, I could imagine scenarios where the comfort of the 2 term limit is all that stands between us and tyranny.

  42. Roger Cornelius 2016-12-28 19:48

    In the last six years of the Obama presidency we have had a republican controlled congress and senate that aren’t term limited. Their obstructionism and defiance of the president has come close to tyranny.
    My trust will always rest with the electorate, even when they make horrible mistakes like they made this past election.
    There isn’t a damn thing I like about Trump and don’t trust him to do the right thing, but I do know this, our Constitution is more powerful than Donald Trump
    Richard Nixon thought he was more powerful than congress, senate and the Supreme Court and it turned out that his own republican party forced him from office.
    With all that transpired after the Nixon resignation, Gerald Ford being sworn in as president and later Nelson being selected as the new vice president, proved that our 25th Amendment and the U.S. Constitution worked.
    Donald Trump will challenge us with his own brand tyranny and when he pushes the bounds of acceptance he will be met with public resistance whether it be violent or non-violent.

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-29 07:15

    Interesting inversion, Darin, of the formula we use to defend placing the burden of proof on the state in criminal cases: better that ten guilty citizen go free than one innocent citizen go to prison. Term limits say, better that ten good Presidents go home than tyrannical President get a third term.

    I could turn your final line about comfort: that safety valve might actually be bad for activism. Perhaps the people need to know that stopping tyranny is entirely up to them. They can’t wait for the 22nd Amendment to do their work for them. They have to hit the streets, the social media, and the local party meetings right now to erect barricades to Trump’s reëlection.

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